Anyone who was surprised to see Beyoncé in a bodysuit for her Super Bowl performance is clearly not that familiar with Beyoncé. For the past five years, she has worn them for nearly every performance. Her Super Bowl leather bodysuit was designed by little-known Rubin Singer who used iguana and python inset with lace to construct his creation, which was inspired by the mythical valkyrie.
At first glance, I thought it seemed a bit like couture S&M wear, which I suppose could very literally convey the powerful and in control female perspective Beyoncé is constantly preaching. Her bodysuits have been around since 2008’s “Single Ladies” video and have turned into a signature for the singer, and seem to be a tribute to her icon Tina Turner who frequently wore micro-minis and bodysuits for her similarly leggy performances.
The bodysuits contribute to the sexually powerful and alluring persona that Beyoncé takes on when performing. In the past, she referred to this persona as “Sasha Fierce” as both she and the public couldn’t reconcile the sweet and shy Beyoncé with the creature who performed under the same name. Years later, she stated that she had “killed” Sasha Fierce as she was now confident enough to embrace both sides of her personality as her own.
Now in her 30s and a mother, I wonder if she feels this same conflict again. No doubt she has considered the ramifications of what she does on her daughter, as any conscientious mother does. Will she feel the need to revive Sasha Fierce? Or does she now feel even more confident in her self-appointed role as female empowerer and can justify the fairly explicit sexual nature of her performances? Or maybe she’ll craft a new persona that will eschew the bodysuits and take her brand of female empowerment in a new direction.
It’s now been five years since Beyoncé adopted bodysuits as her signature performance wear, and I hope both her onstage outfits and persona evolve beyond her well-crafted brand of sexually powerful and alluring femininity. I think she’s much more than that.
Photo by Kevin Mazur, WireImage